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Sunday Music

Sunday Music is Fremantle Arts Centre’s free weekly live music program every Sunday from 2-4 pm. Enjoy the best local and touring bands every weekend in the beautiful setting of FAC’s Front Garden. Bring a rug and picnic to this family friendly event, or enjoy wood fired pizzas and drinks from our bar. Some chairs provided.

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Boomerang Throwing

Join former Fremantle Docker, Scott Chisholm for a cultural activity that will teach you a new skill! Boomerang throwing is not as easy as it looks, but Scott will make sure you hear a little of his story and show you how to make the boomerang come back!

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Fenians Festival Presents - OReillys Escape

Fenians Festival 2019 presents -  O'Reilly's Escape - a celebration of the life and works of John Boyle O'Reilly. The inaugural Fenians Festival, held in January 2018, was an outstanding success particularly with Irish immigrant families, young children, descendants of the original Hougoumont Fenians and the local Fremantle community.  We are proud to now present Fenians Festival 2019 - O'Reilly's Escape from 22nd to 24th February 2019. This is an opportunity to further celebrate and honour one of the most famous of the Hougoumont Fenians - John Boyle O'Reilly - who escaped custody in February 1869, hid in the sand dunes near Australind until he escaped on the whaling ship 'Gazelle' bound for the US where he become the editor of the Boston Pilot newspaper and advocated for human rights for the marginalised including African Americans, Jewish and Chinese people. He also argued against the destruction of Native American culture through the westward expansion. John Boyle O'Reilly never forgot his friends back in Fremantle and became the central architect of an audacious plan to rescue them by 'crowd-funding' the purchase and commission of the whaling ship 'Catalpa' which sailed to Fremantle from New Bedford and rescued the remaining six Fenian prisoners. This 'great escape' created headlines around the world and put the global spotlight on the little known colony in Western Australia. Most importantly for Western Australia, John Boyle O'Reilly wrote 'Moondyne' which is believed to be the first novel published about Western Australia in 1880 and is an early chronicle of Aboriginal and settlor culture of that time. We are delighted to invite you to join us to honour the life and works of John Boyle O'Reilly. Festival Program: Music: The opening concert features Irish music legend Sharon Shannon in concert with Susan 0'Neill at the John Curtin College of the Arts Theatre.  The closing event features a Gaelic Gumbo concert on the lawns of Kidogo Arthouse with Lucky Ocean, The Zydecats, Fiona Rea and Tommy O'Brien. Family day activities: the WA Maritime Museum will host a full day of free activities for families including model boat building, story telling, a shamrack trail, irish dancing displays and children's film sessions.  Literature: Reading O'Reilly's novel Moondyne. This is an all day public reading of the entire novel written by John Boyle O'Reilly about Western Australia and published in Boston in 1890. It will be  read at various historic locations throughout Fremantle. More details soon.   Fenians Fremantle and Freedom (FFFInc) is an incorporated association established by a group of passionate and committed individuals whose purpose is to honour the Fenians, their arrival in and departure from Fremantle, and the impact their lives had on Irish, Australian and US culture and history; and to celebrate their lives through art, literature, history, music, dance and film events and festivals.

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Free Film Fridays

Relax and learn through aboriginal film at at Free Film Fridays at the Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre from 12-2pm. Bookings essential. Friday 8 February - Mabo Friday 15 February – Deadly Yarns 3 Friday 22 February - Deadly Yarns 4 Friday 1 March - Deadly Yarns 5 Friday 15 March - Zach's Ceremony Friday 22 March - Sisters, Pearls and Mission Girls Friday 29 March - The Last Tasmanian * Films may be subject to change  

Fenians Festival Family Day

The Fenian Festival Family Day will be buzzing with free activities for all the family. The WA Maritime Museum is offering free entry all day (entry fees will however apply for their major exhibition). Listen to great stories, see a replica whale boat, make a model boat, follow the Shamrock trail, view the award winning children's movie Secret of Kells on the big screen, watch displays of traditional dancing and keep an eye out for talented young buskers. Please register your interest in attending this free fun-filled family day.   

Tom Collins Poetry Prize at Voicebox

Announcing the Tom Collins Poetry Prize, WA's premier poetry competition. All shortlisted poets will read their work and then Judge Dennis Haskell will read his report. Hear some of the best poets in WA and across the country while enjoying food and drink from the Cafe.

WACC 5th Anniversary Canvas

Join us for this exciting collaboration to celebrate the 5th anniversary of the Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre. Participants are expected to come and go and are not expected to stay for the entire duration. Please note that children under 10 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Fremantle Repair Cafe

Join us in the Stackwood warehouse each month to reduce, reuse and recycle your broken or worn down household items. Along with an experienced volunteer repairer from the local community, you can jointly repair items such as clothing, toys, small furniture, electrical goods (must have an AC adaptor or be battery operated), bikes and more. There will also be a gluing/taping workstation and device help for phones, tablets, and laptops. Please only bring items that you can carry in and out of the space, if they are larger they may be a project better suited to you fixing at home. All items…

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Dont Judge A Book By Its Cover Living Library

Borrow a human library book each week in March at the Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre and hear some of the most fascinating, heart wrenching, challenging, personal stories with a focus on Aboriginal issues and culture. Take the opportunity to ask any questions you may have and prepare to come away forever changed. Topics range from Aboriginal justice, health, military involvement, family, language, the arts, history and so much more... 

Fenians, Fremantle and Freedom Festival

 As you wander through Fremantle in early January, make sure you listen carefully. You’ll hear the sweet sounds of one of Ireland’s greatest fiddlers, Martin Hayes and the echo back from his musical confidante, American guitarist Dennis Cahill as they capture the essence of traditional Irish music in a contemporary rhythm to uplift your spirits. Focus again and you’ll pick up the enchanting, rich melodious voice of gifted, Irish singer and songwriter Declan O’Rourke. If you know something about the hidden treasure spots of the West End, you might uncover the textured language of one of Ireland’s best loved poets, Tony Curtis.  There’s clearly something significant happening in Fremantle, to draw such fabulous Irish talent here. Indeed, there is! It’s a ten-day Irish cultural immersion, the first of its kind, called Fenians, Fremantle & Freedom Festival, commemorating a journey made 150 years ago by 62 Irish political prisoners – the Fenians. The Fenians were young men, between 19 and 30, who grew up in Ireland in a time of starvation, death and forced evictions - the years of the great famine. Having exhausted all attempts to gain self-government through political means, they decided to fight for independence and they staged a rising. Their plot was uncovered, they were arrested, sentenced for treason, exiled from their homeland and transported to Western Australia.  After spending months in solitary confinement, it was a bitter-sweet relief when they boarded the very last convict ship to Australia, the Hougoumont, where they shared stories, organised concerts, wrote a newspaper called the Wild Goose, and looked out for each other. You might recognise the name Hougoumont, it’s that funky hotel in Bannister Street. There’s clearly something significant happening in Fremantle, to draw such fabulous Irish talent here. Indeed, there is! It’s a ten-day Irish cultural immersion, the first of its kind, called Fenians, Fremantle & Freedom Festival... They also dreamed of escape. The most famous of the Fenians, John Boyle O’Reilly did escape a year later, on an American whaler. He became the editor of a Boston newspaper and together with supporters in the US and Ireland, organised a crowd funding venture to purchase a whaler, the Catalpa, and rescue his mates from the bottom of the world, out of Fremantle Prison. It’s a big story and there’s a big festival to commemorate and celebrate it. As well as the concerts, there’ll be a family day at the Maritime Museum, art exhibitions, Irish film, literature workshops, remarkable stories and of course, the Guinness …plenty of it on tap at the Festival Gardens and Kelp Bar at Kidogo Arthouse. But you won’t be sitting still, there’s music to get your feet tapping and a traditional Irish ceili dance with an Indian Ocean sunset as the backdrop. After 10 days of celebration and commemoration, you’ll have to get in quick to book a table at the primal food extravaganza and street party, the Feast of the Wild Goose, sponsored by Fremantle BID and supported by the Hougoumont Hotel and the Bannister St traders. This 150 year old story of valuing your culture and looking after your friends is the one we still strive for here in Fremantle. Fenians, Fremantle and Freedom Festival | 5-14 January 2018

Fremantle invites you to come to the fire

Fremantle Festival returns this year with a series of events bringing people together in a celebration of community. Immerse yourself in the colour and pageantry of the Blessing of the Fleet, discover the beauty of Australian Indigenous culture at Wardarnji or bring the family down to a blaze on the beach with the return of Kraken. Wardarnji is a dynamic experience of Nyoongar storytelling and dance. For the first time, the City of Fremantle presents Karla-k Koorling, Come to the Fire, inviting audiences to gather around many fires to enjoy intimate performances, including song, spoken word, puppetry and dance. This is a taste of what’s to come, with the Fremantle Festival set to move to the depths of winter in 2019, with a ten-day immersive experience of wild art and hidden treasures. Intimate spaces, port history and cosy corners make Fremantle an ideal place for a winter festival.  This year’s three-day festival format will pave the way for the transition to an expanded ten-day format in winter in 2019.  Now in its 113th year, Fremantle Festival is Australia’s longest running festival and continues to evolve as a celebration of one of the most unique cities in the world and its extraordinary community.  Wardarnji | 26 October, 6.30 pm (gates open 5.30 pm), Fremantle Arts Centre Let the beauty of the oldest songs, dances and language in the world transport you to another place, as fires burn long into the evening and people come together to celebrate Indigenous Australian culture. Wardarnji is a dynamic experience of Nyoongar storytelling and dance. Blessing of the Fleet | 28 October, from 2 pm, procession begins at St Patrick’s Basilica Watch the pageantry and splendour of the Blessing of the Fleet as this annual procession makes its way from St Patrick’s Basilica to Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour, culminating in a spectacular fireworks display at 8 pm. The Blessing of the Fleet is a tradition that began centuries ago in Mediterranean fishing communities to ensure a safe and bountiful fishing season. First celebrated in WA by an Italian migrant fisherman, the historical port of Fremantle has been the backdrop to the tradition for 70 years. Kraken | 3 November, from 1 pm, Bathers Beach & Arthur Head Kraken is a blaze on Bather’s Beach centered around the Kraken effigy – a sea monster emerging from the sands. Kraken is a free community event that delivers a small taste of the Blazing Swan Festival presented by the Fremantle based Blazing Swan Inc. Each year this not-for-profit organisation produces the regional Burning Man in Kulin, Western Australia. Surrounding Bather’s Beach the Blazing Swan theme camps offer entertainment and food.  You are invited to wander the fires enjoying the elements and the voices of Fremantle. Karla-k Koorling, Come to the Fire | 3 November, from 6 pm, Maritime Tafe Carpark, Fleet Street As the sun sets over the Indian Ocean we will light fires to bring together the people of Fremantle. Between the river and sea we will gather, the fires will light the way, keep us warm and centre our community stories. Each fire will host a performance of song, spoken word, puppetry or dance. You are invited to wander the fires enjoying the elements and the voices of Fremantle. The 2018 Fremantle Festival will run on 26 October, 28 October and 3 November, with a series of free community events. For more information, visit – fremantlefestival.com.au. 


Community events

Fremantle has a great selection of community events for the whole family. There is also some great live music from local bands, dance classes, workshops and much more so make sure you check out our list of events to make sure you don’t miss some of the great local things to do in Fremantle.